Backroads

Charity: Feeling jaded on charity

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

This has been a struggle for me since I joined the Church.  I try to be at every service project and take my children so they can learn.  I understand I'm required to serve and try to be open and look for every opportunity.  I don't care if I'm the only one there and we talk with the boys about keeping it to ourselves because humble service isn't about the accolades.

It becomes more and more apparent that we are frequently serving the same few people who are either perfectly capable of serving themselves or continuously willfully refuse to improve their situation.  My heart is so hard towards a few of these people when their names come up every single week.  I still do the service, but it isn't with the right attitude.  I'm still cheerful and friendly, but inside I'm sour.  I'm really not sure how to improve this and I feel horrible for feeling this way.

I'm in the same boat. 
My only issue is I won't continue to do service if they have already 'burned' that service bridge. 

I find myself willing to help those who need service or help in an unusual situation/circumstance: death in the family, recently laid off, surgery, covid dinners, elderly, disabled. 
I find myself unwilling to help those who continually need service or help but are simply too lazy or cheap to help themselves.  <---- these make me sour inside as well. So in an effort to not sour all service, I avoid the latter. 

Edited by NeedleinA

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On 2/22/2021 at 9:50 AM, Grunt said:

This has been a struggle for me since I joined the Church.  I try to be at every service project and take my children so they can learn.  I understand I'm required to serve and try to be open and look for every opportunity.  I don't care if I'm the only one there and we talk with the boys about keeping it to ourselves because humble service isn't about the accolades.

It becomes more and more apparent that we are frequently serving the same few people who are either perfectly capable of serving themselves or continuously willfully refuse to improve their situation.  My heart is so hard towards a few of these people when their names come up every single week.  I still do the service, but it isn't with the right attitude.  I'm still cheerful and friendly, but inside I'm sour.  I'm really not sure how to improve this and I feel horrible for feeling this way.

It seems to me that what you are feeling is more manly rather than Godly. Such feelings are both natural, and necessary to change. I think that the best way to change your feelings from natural to Godly is by having an increased love for those you serve. If you cannot feel an increased love for these people then you can start one step further back and pray for a desire to love those you serve. As you pray with sincerity, humility, faith and real desire, God is likely to grant you the righteous desires of your heart and you will begin to feel a desire to love these people. As you consistently and gratefully act on that desire, you will come to love them and your sour feelings will be transformed. It all starts with you having the faith and the desire and humbly taking the problem to the Lord in prayer.

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@askandanswer I enjoyed your comment above and on the surface it feels 'correctish'. 
On the flip side, when speaking about capable people, do you think there is a point where:

1. You are actually hurting someone vs. helping them? If every time I need help, rather than help myself, I simply call others to solve and fix it for me... am I hurting myself?
Is it actually showing 'love' or 'more love' to that person by not solving their problem(s), but allowing them to stand up an solve it themselves? Thus finding confidence, drive, goal setting, etc. in themselves

2. Your time, energy & effort might be better used elsewhere?

Just some thoughts.

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As mentioned earlier in this thread, God is a tremendous enabler. Instead of striking idiots with blight He causes His rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. One of the themes that comes out in the apocryphal accounts of the Flood (and even in our own book of Moses) is that God's generosity to the wicked is an absolute mystery. Enoch, the angels, and later Zenos' gardener all wonder why God puts up with this garbage as long as He does!

I sometimes wonder if this is the wisdom of coming to a telestial creation. The Spirit knows all things, but godliness - perhaps even charity - requires that we learn through our own experience how to love those who don't deserve it.

That said, I also acknowledge that Jesus did not move away the stone of Lazarus' tomb, and had to be talked down from destroying the Israelites and creating a new nation from Moses' descendants. There's a balance here, and I'm not sure that I know where to draw the line between allowing enabling versus allowing divine discontent.

President Oaks has drawn attention to these two forms of divine love and says there's a need for both. But as a general authority he leaves it at general principles and leaves to us to work out what requests we file in each group. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2009/10/love-and-law?lang=eng

Edited by mordorbund

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6 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

@askandanswer I enjoyed your comment above and on the surface it feels 'correctish'. 
On the flip side, when speaking about capable people, do you think there is a point where:

1. You are actually hurting someone vs. helping them? If every time I need help, rather than help myself, I simply call others to solve and fix it for me... am I hurting myself?
Is it actually showing 'love' or 'more love' to that person by not solving their problem(s), but allowing them to stand up an solve it themselves? Thus finding confidence, drive, goal setting, etc. in themselves

2. Your time, energy & effort might be better used elsewhere?

Just some thoughts.

I think the person who calls, if they are asking for help for something they could do themselves, may indeed be doing themselves some harm. I also think that the person who answers the call, if they do so with a cheerful and willing heart - because God loves a cheerful giver - will be blessed for what they do, regardless of the needs or motivations of the caller.

6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

(New Testament | 2 Corinthians 9:6 - 😎

I think it would make for a fascinating study to try to guesstimate the primary considerations that God takes into account when trying to decide how to respond to a plea for help. Sometimes He parts the sea, sometimes He makes the waters stand up in a heap, sometimes the rivers of water are turned out of their course, and sometimes He just tells you where to find ore to make tools to build a ship. I think there are probably reasons for the different responses to what is essentially the same problem of how to get across a body of water. I think that God is well able to make such judgements as to what is needed and how best to respond to a request for help, but my judgement skills are not as good as His. 

As to the idea of whether helping such a person is the best use of our time and energy, I haven't yet reached the point in life where all of my decisions and actions are determined by what I think is the best way to use my time although I acknowledge that that is a worthy goal to aim for. Too often my actions and decisions are based on what  I want rather than what I think is best. 

 

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"Sometimes we may feel that we are being generous in giving them much without their giving any service in return, that maybe we are generous and that we are kind; but we are really unkind. It works the other way. We are unkind if we teach people to take without giving, without doing what they can do within reason" (Spencer W. Kimball)

"It is a law of heaven, and one we haven’t learned fully here on earth, that you cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they can do, and should do, for themselves." (Ezra Taft Benson)

 

Edited by Manners Matter

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20 hours ago, mordorbund said:

That said, I also acknowledge that Jesus did not move away the stone of Lazarus' tomb, and had to be talked down from destroying the Israelites and creating a new nation from Moses' descendants. There's a balance here, and I'm not sure that I know where to draw the line between allowing enabling versus allowing divine discontent.

Read the Inspired Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible on this account on Exodus chapter 32:

9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people;
10 Now therefore let me alone, that my   wrath   may   wax   hot   against   them,   and   that   I   may   consume   them;  and  I  will  make  of  thee  a  great nation.
11  And  Moses  besought  the  Lord  his  God,  and  said,  Lord,  why  doth  thy   wrath   wax   hot   against   thy   people,  which  thou  hast  brought  forth out of the land of Egypt with great  power,  and  with  a  mighty  hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains,  and  to  consume  them  from  the  face  of  the  earth?  Turn  from  thy  fierce  wrath.  Thy  people  will  repent  of  this  evil;  therefore  come thou not out against them . . .
14  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Moses,  If they will repent of the evil which they  have  done,  I  will  spare  them,  and turn away my fierce wrath; but, behold, thou shalt execute judgment   upon   all   that   will   not   repent    of    this    evil    this    day.    Therefore,  see  thou  do  this  thing  that  I  have  commanded  thee,  or  I  will  execute  all  that  which  I  had  thought to do unto my people.

--------------------------------------------------------

It appears to me from these verses that Moses asked that mercy be given to the children of Israel and the LORD in response told Moses to be the executor of judgment for those who did not repent in the people of Israel.  I do not think Moses convinced the LORD of anything in my interpretation of these scriptures.  Moses asked for something and the LORD gave it to him.

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Well, I think venting here and elsewhere and getting some feedback is helping. Today I did partake in an act of service of delivering some clothes to a family who said they didn't have cars.

Now, of course when I got there, there were three cars. But it occurred to me, by the state of the home and the family, that "I don't have a car" can be code for "we honestly can't afford the gas to get to your place".

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